A long time ago, I found myself in a frozen hell, in a war zone, soaking wet, and chilled to the bone in such a way that I felt my inner organs aching.
Seeking refuge from the foul weather, I found a small remote abandoned outbuilding, half stone, half timber, with a corrugated roof. Troops were already rammed inside; RM's, breathing blasting steam through mouths and noses like wild horses.
Somebody made enough room to squeeze me in. An equally steaming brew straight of the hexy was thrust into my stinging right hand. I stared robotically out at a colourless landscape where sleet and snow was arriving like needles. Not vertically, but horizontally and fiercely. Grey sky, grey cooch grass, grey outcrops.
I followed the rivulets of rain as they dripped incessantly from the roof into the mud, forming small pools. One of those pools was different, a different colour. I took a note pad from its poly cover, tore off a page and dropped it into the water. We watched as the pure white paper turned a liquid pink. Someone went outside to confirm that there were, in fact, human remains scattered on the roof of the shack we were sheltering in. I wondered if the world outside really knew, or even cared what this was really like.
A few days earlier, 21 young men had lost their lives on HMS Sheffield, yet back home, this event was pushed aside in the rage, the uproar and the dismay as many other young men, different young men, the opposite side of the coin to those who had perished, learned that the Government had reached a decision that it would be inappropriate for England to play Argentina in the world cup.
Life was and is cheap.
The foregoing came back to me after reading again that in the current events of the UK nothing is more important than football (if you are reading this JJ, I apologise, these comments aren’t aimed in your direction I know you love the game), or at least everything can be turned around to football.
See what I mean.